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Nick's Cave Trailer

ORTLOS Space Engineering

Representations put the audience inside the story that architects narrate.


Ortlos Architects choose an experimental video as the most suitable means to present their research on new independent languages and communication forms. This four-minute film is the trailer for a full length ninety-minute movie that explores the architects' idea of the contemporary city.

"Nick's cave Trailer" has been entirely digitally generated, except for real HD shots that have been taken inside the spectacular Dom im Berg in Graz. The intense use of cutting-edge computer technologies to simulate virtual environments is influenced by the Austrian firm' s profound interest in themes such as augmented reality and immersive spaces. The short movie makes clear how architectural design is understood by Ortlos Architects as the expression of a platform, a network of attributes found in the continued investigation of contemporary time phenomena that surpass rigid architectural dogmas.

Virtual world making launches the architects into a "performative design [that] doesn't follow form or function, but rather follows the feedback". This process leads to a kind of communication which is an interaction more than a simple presentation, since it tries to involve the audience inside the story that the architects are narrating.

The protagonist of the video is a man in his mid-thirties who decides to retire into a virtual cave. He prepares a plan of revenge upon the small city where he grew up and its middle class people. Like the authors themselves admit, the city of Graz becomes the main protagonist of the film since it embodies the urban typology of similar European cities.

Within this movie the architects also hint at the contradictions that might exist between the perception of reality and its virtual representation. Aside from the six clones - that represent six different senses – the cave is the perfect virtual environment that Nick created as a reflection of his dreams; however there is still something missing that restrains him from accomplishing his plan, a story that is revealed after a long search.

Authors icon Credits

Music: Nevenko Bucan

Austria 2006
Duration: 3'44''

Selected for VISIONS, the 2009 edition of BEYOND MEDIA Festival organized by Image.